Activities & Resources
REI050in Redmond, WA 98052
REI is a local business gone big; it started out in 1938 as a humble cooperative and has evolved into an upscale megastore for people who demand the best in outdoor gear. Baby and kid stuff abounds: look for high-quality baby joggers, bike trailers, and trail packs; family camping gear; kids' bikes and helmets; performance footwear; skis and snow gear; rain gear, outdoorsy toys, and rugged, stylish clothes for kids of all ages (Patagonia, Cherry Tree, Gramicci).
Rent children's downhill skis, snowboards, and snowshoes, children's and toddler's cross-country skis, gear sleds, and tents, backpacks, mountaineering gear, and sleeping bags/pads at area stores. Not all stores carry all gear; check on availability by clicking on "Stores/Events" at the website, then by choosing an individual store and looking in the box on the right for a gear rental link.
Stores have a full schedule of outdoor-related talks and programs, but these are primarily geared towards adults (although there is an occasional family-related event; check REI's website for details.)
The flagship store in Seattle (222 Yale Avenue N; 206.223.1944) - built in a sort of Northwest Natural style with exposed beams and natural building materials - has a kids play area next to the cafe on the top floor, as well as the Pinnacle, a 65-foot climbing wall, on the ground floor. The Redmond store (Redmond Town Center; 425.882.1158) also offers a Pinnacle for climbing instruction.
The Kids Climb class at the Seattle store is a safe way to introduce kids to climbing. Class includes safety information, climbing instruction, and a chance to climb the Pinnacle. Kids ages eight-14, at all ability levels, can join the class. Shoes and harnesses are provided by REI. Pre-register by going to the store or calling 206.223.1944, ext 4086.